It seems our best prospect for this season’s Snidely WhipGreatlash doesn’t get too far in the competition, which considerably reduces the pleasure of watching. Mike Fleiss, producer of Bachelor in Paradise, has confirmed that Lace, an early motive-questioner with a derisive sneer that would make Bill O’Reilly envious, is set to appear in the next round of the sleazy Mexican-resort-empowering show that makes the franchise a nearly year-round event.
The third installment of the Paradise series features liquored-up cast-offs of yesterseasons, including bachelorettes who never stood a chance at the Neil Lane ring. Unless they’ve already been compensated with lots of camera-time and America’s most indignant tweets, former contestants are banished to oblivion until they eventually get engaged to someone else or enter rehab, which will rate two inches of type in US Magazine’s back pages. Paradise is a second bite at the cheap-fame apple for lucky Lace and the other rejects.
Anyway, after tonight’s group dates, accusations of insincerity, and a full quarter-pound of lip gloss, two gals are eliminated at the Rose Ceremony. But wait, there’s more! Or fewer, really. After earning a rose from Ben, another Ette leaves of the producers’ own volition, perhaps to receive treatment by a professional. I would tell you who those three are, but I have no idea to which lifelike sex doll the names are attached, so it’s kind of like someone telling me which professional baseball players did well at a game.
Off we go! Previews reveal some sporting event, assertions of a connection to Ben, declarations of beauty, and a visit from Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, who gets a black box placed over his privates when he’s in the pool. Also, something shocking, which Kevin Hart isn’t.
Everyone opens by describing Ben as the greatest human being since Schweitzer. He pulls on his pants over cobalt blue undies and tells us,”It’s game on.” Just what I always like to hear from someone I’m dating.
Lace wants to start fresh and recover from her annoying behavior last week by doing something even more annoying this week. The group date includes her, some of the myriad Laurens, Amber, Becca, JoJo, Jubilee, and a partridge in a pear tree. Unexpectedly, the date card portends something having to do with love.
The girls squeal like the limo tires as they head to the date location. They are dressed in short shorts and tight tops, so they’re appropriately attired for the high school they arrive at. Confirming that The Bachelor is consistently tasteless and inappropriate, the girls learn that they will go to class in two teams to compete in educational tests. The winner will be Ben’s Homecoming Queen with whom he presumably have sex under the bleachers. Hopefully, the classes are all Home Ec, but no, first is a science lesson.
“Make Ben’s volcano explode,” cries Chris gleefully, as if no one has ever used this as a sexual metaphor. They work with papier-mache volcano models that look more realistic than Amanda’s nose. Geography is a challenge for all the girls, who can barely locate Ben’s tongue in his mouth.
Next is gym class, which should go well. They try to make baskets, which is not at all reminiscent of sex. Outside, they run hurdles on the track. Mandi easily wins over Amber as she is used to spreading her legs often in a short time period. She rushes into Ben’s arms.
“I wanted today to be doofy and fun,” he reports. He must be a pleasure to dine with at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Damn, my system froze up, so I lost a whole chunk of show just now. Try to picture what happened. So anyway, in between me shrieking at the computer screen and scaring the dog, Jennifer got the first serious kiss and reported her satisfaction in a Yelp review. There was also something about Lace feeling she made peace with Ben, but then Jubilee did something to make her angry. It’s as reliable a pattern as the soak cycle preceding wash and spin.
Jubilee, the Army soldier, describes being adopted after spending time in an orphanage, like in a Dickens novel edited by Chris Harrison. Ben is pleased that she opened up to him, because it means a lot to know unremarkable facts about a person’s life when you make conversation. She gets kissed, too. Ben thanks for her service to Bachelor Nation.
Lace is bugged by how much more time Jubilee got with Ben than someone with non-veteran status. But she finally gets to talk with Ben, which upsets Amber and the others. They stare stonily at Lace when she returns to the group. Either they’re upset with her or the Chardonnay hasn’t been replenished.
Next Ben invites someone, whoever the hell, to the rooftop. Mandi? Candi? Brandi? He tells her he likes her energy, her bubbliness, and her D cups. They kiss as the lights of the city glow below and Ben’s pants grow tighter above. “Never in my entire life have I felt this happy before,” whoever- she-is sighs, although she is not eliminating the possibility that the next sale at Nordstrom’s will be a more rewarding experience. If she doesn’t get the rose, she’ll return to the roof to jump.
Fortunately, it goes to her and she is JoJo. Jubilee is crestfallen, while Lace is bitter, yet confident that the next time, her tiresome sense of entitlement will make a good impression on Ben.
A long, fancy vintage car drives up next morning as Chris explains that he invited a couple of friends over. I’m sure he hits the house parties with Ice Cube every weekend. Everyone is thrilled as Kev and Ice take Ben away to counsel him. They question him about how the Ettes would react in certain circumstances. This must be the version edited for pornographic content.
Ben leads Caila out to the car, and then Ice and Kev pile in, too. Ben is more excited about being with them than her. He is advised to buy flowers from a street vendor and study the selections at a liquor store, proving that these two guys really know how to romance a classy broad. Ice suggests Ben buy condoms, so at least he knows to practice safe sex.
Okay, godforsaken system went down again, so I had to reboot and scream profanity at the screen some more. The dog has fled to the back of the apartment. In the interim, Caila and Ben talk about what love and family mean, failing to produce any inspirational quotes that someone would rush to share on Facebook. She gets the rose. “This is the amazing beginning of the rest of a crazy adventure,” she rhapsodizes incoherently, unaware that the producers have flagged her to be gone by episode 5.
They go off to a club to be serenaded by some hipster guy who’s probably about to drop a CD. As they dance, clinging to each other like that creature that grabs your face in Alien, words such as “crazy,” “amazing,” and “incredible” are bandied about, as if the pair had just witnessed the original test of the hydrodgen bomb.
Another group date begins. The twins are along so I can be even more at a loss for who’s who. They are greeted at the location by a robot with a screen, from which a smiley guy invites them to the “Love Lab.” Isn’t that where Whitney Bischoff worked? Dr. Love and his team will be helping out today, since intensive therapy with a capable psychologist did not have any effect. The surely legitimate testing involves retinal tracking and pheromone sniffing of the women, who are outfitted in white lab minis.
Ben dons a blindfold and starts smelling everyone’s necks and waists. “I think chemistry is number one in a relationship,” explains Shushanna. “If you get that, you can have everything.” Especially the house and the mutual fund.
Now everyone is freaking out as Ben strips to the waist and starts feeling them all up. Presumably, he is checking for fitness or at least how well their bras fit. An infrared camera displays images of some sort of neon hot spots that resemble the credits of a 60’s concert movie. The lowest score, just 2.41 out of 10, was earned by Samantha. This makes her very incompatible with Ben and unlikely to tolerate hot flashes in 30 years.
Olivia got a fairly high score, which she anticipated. Ben takes her off to be alone with her pheromones. He’s impressed with her high Love Lab score, since he has an A.B. from a community college. She truly senses that compatibility and connection. That’s science! As they kiss, she feels heat “in her stomach area.” That’s literary license.
Amanda is desperate to tell Ben about her kids and I am desperate to find out if they also have voices that sound like a carton hamster. He finds it “incredible “that she has two daughters, so maybe someone ought to explain to him how that happens. He tells her gravely that he’s really glad she told him, as if she were confessing her love of eating sofa cushions on My Strange Addiction. They kiss. “I am, like, so happy,” Amanda burbles, delighted that Ben was so open to her having children. It’s probably because it hasn’t been that long since he was one.
Time to present the evening’s rose. Ben hands it to Olivia, about as unexpected a moment as when a couple on House Hunters declares the kitchen needs updating. Amanda is bewildered, though. They’d had such a great seven-minute conversation!
Now it’s cocktail party time. Olivia isn’t complacent. She wants to kiss Ben “til his lips fall off,” which seems kind of kinky. Lace confronts her about not having enough time with Ben, as if Olivia is responsible for being a stacked blond to Lace’s sallow flat-chestedness. But Lace knows she’s the right woman for Ben. Olivia tells her she needs to go for what she wants. Easy to say for the person with the 7-out-of-10 Love Lab score.
Lace shares her concerns with Ben. He stands about a yard away from her and gulps liquor as he insists everything is fine. She confesses that she was dorky-looking as a kid, the purpose of which is unclear. He’ll probably just think they’d have ugly kids. Then some other blonde interrupts and she stalks away in tears.
“The Lace that I promised myself I would not be came out,” she sobs wretchedly. Instead of the true Lace, she’s been the one the producers wrote for her. The remaining girls continue to bemoan not having enough time with Ben or the tape editors. Do they ever discuss music or Etsy or anything?
Lauren B. receives from Ben the gift of a photo of the two of them taken last week. That Ben’s a big spender. But he doesn’t know how to make her feel really special, especially because she so closely resembles the four other Laurens. So he gives her a blue ribbon just like the one on a package of Purdue organic chicken tenders.
A sobbing Amanda is offered the opportunity to glue dreck onto Family Dollar-purchased hair clips for her daughters. “It’s the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me,” she exclaims. At least she’s not a gold-digger.
The Rose Ceremony begins. Ben did not expect to feel so strongly at this early point in the show’s schedule. Amanda is up first, followed by Jubilee and Lauren B. Lace cries some more without messing up her mascara. A blond is next, followed by Becca and Rachel. Then comes Lace, who would be less pleased if she were aware America was seeing the glaring strap marks on her exposed back.
Before accepting the offered rose, LB asks to speak to Ben privately. Everyone is shocked, as if this kind of thing only happened on half the episodes each season. LB doesn’t know if she can do this, she tells Ben as he gazes understandingly at an off-screen production assistant filling in while LB goes the bathroom. He returns to report that she is leaving, but he’s happy to give the rose to someone with similar measurements. Jennifer is next to get a rose, then Haley (I think?), Jamie, Lauren H., and Shushanna. Oh, now it’s Haley. Is Emily still there? Maybe she was the first blond. I’m taking precious moments to puzzle this out when I still can’t find the back-space key on my new android.
Finally, one rose remains. The dramatic music swells, heavy on the xylophone. Ben hesitates, then names Amber. Two brunettes are outta there. As the ceremony concludes, Ben covers his face with his hands like it’s a military funeral. “It doesn’t make sense,” he says mournfully. It’s almost as unfathomable as what happened in Sandy Hook.
Next week, a ride in a Mustang, some angry rushing up the stairs, and the ubiquitous crying, kissing, and evil conniving for Ben’s attention. By the way, Kevin Hart does not like women with bumps on their backs or chapped lips. Women don’t like short guys who are picky, so it works out.